IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Understanding Financial Vulnerability in Partially Dollarized Economies


  • Diego Winkelried
  • Juan Francisco Castro
  • Eduardo Morón


The reduction of macroeconomic vulnerability in emerging markets is now at the core of the research agenda. Liability dollarization plays a vital role in the understanding of vulnerability and its implications (from a general equilibrium perspective) have been addressed in the literature via the inclusion of a “financial accelerator†mechanism. In particular, its formalization is based on Bernanke’s, et al. (1998) optimal contract, which predicts a negative relation between an external finance premium and firm’s net worth. We can identify two channels by which the financial accelerator can be triggered. The first, emphasized in Bernanke, et al. (1998) and Gertler, et al. (2001), operates via shocks on asset prices which, in turn, affect the realized return on capital and net worth. The second channel, privileged in Céspedes, et al. (2000a y 2000b), depends on unanticipated movements in firm’s debt burden which directly affect their net worth. Not surprisingly, liability dollarization plays an important role in the activation of this second channel since the unexpected component of a real depreciation can greatly magnify the debt burden of firms if their debt is denominated in dollars. Based on this, Céspedes, et al. (2000a y 2000b) present a first approximation to a definition of vulnerability. In particular, an economy is classified as vulnerable if a real exchange rate depreciation implies an increase in the risk premium faced by firms. This result is neatly summarized in the log linear version of the risk premium equation and depends, crucially, on firms indebtness level. Their model, however, assumes complete depreciation and, thus, lacks the asset price channel explained above. Gertler, et al. (2001) recognize this issue and present some simulations using dollar denominated debt and an active asset price mechanism. Despite these significant contributions to the understanding of the consequences of liability dollarization for output fluctuations, we believe some important extensions are now in order: (i) if we want to address the implications of the degree of dollarization, we need a general equilibrium model that admits firm’s debt to be denominated in both local and foreign currency (the two models just described assume full liability dollarization); (ii) central bank’s response to exchange rate innovations (given a degree of dollarization) must be assessed from a welfare point of view; and (iii) given a dollarization level and central bank’s response to shocks, a new, encompassing, definition of vulnerability must be provided in order to adequately address the way in which it can be mitigated

Suggested Citation

  • Diego Winkelried & Juan Francisco Castro & Eduardo Morón, 2004. "Understanding Financial Vulnerability in Partially Dollarized Economies," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 260, Econometric Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:260

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: main text
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bernanke, Ben S. & Gertler, Mark & Gilchrist, Simon, 1999. "The financial accelerator in a quantitative business cycle framework," Handbook of Macroeconomics,in: J. B. Taylor & M. Woodford (ed.), Handbook of Macroeconomics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 21, pages 1341-1393 Elsevier.
    2. Klein, Paul, 2000. "Using the generalized Schur form to solve a multivariate linear rational expectations model," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 24(10), pages 1405-1423, September.
    3. Luis Felipe Céspedes & Roberto Chang & Andrés Velasco, 2004. "Balance Sheets and Exchange Rate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1183-1193, September.
    4. Broda, Christian & Yeyati, Eduardo Levy, 2006. "Endogenous Deposit Dollarization," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 38(4), pages 963-988, June.
    5. Erceg, Christopher J. & Henderson, Dale W. & Levin, Andrew T., 2000. "Optimal monetary policy with staggered wage and price contracts," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 281-313, October.
    6. Mark Gertler & Simon Gilchrist & Fabio M. Natalucci, 2007. "External Constraints on Monetary Policy and the Financial Accelerator," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 39(2-3), pages 295-330, March.
    7. Elekdag, Selim & Tchakarov, Ivan, 2007. "Balance sheets, exchange rate policy, and welfare," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(12), pages 3986-4015, December.
    8. Diego Winkelried & Marco Vega, 2004. "How Does Global Disinflation Drag Inflation in Small Open Economies?," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 76, Econometric Society.
    9. Moron, Eduardo & Winkelried, Diego, 2005. "Monetary policy rules for financially vulnerable economies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 23-51, February.
    10. Eduardo Levy Yeyati & Alain Ize, 1998. "Dollarization of Financial Intermediation; Causes and Policy Implications," IMF Working Papers 98/28, International Monetary Fund.
    11. Svensson, Lars E. O., 2000. "Open-economy inflation targeting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 155-183, February.
    12. Bernanke, Ben & Gertler, Mark, 1989. "Agency Costs, Net Worth, and Business Fluctuations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 14-31, March.
    13. Eduardo Moron & Juan F. Castro, 2003. "Dedollarizing the Peruvian Economy," Macroeconomics 0312005, EconWPA.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Financial vulnerability; Dollarization; Monetary Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • F31 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Foreign Exchange
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ecm:latm04:260. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.